Yeshua in ancient Hebrew.
Welcome to The Real Yeshua Project!
The Real Yeshua Project is important because it is estimated that 1/3 of the total number of people live today -- over 2.2 billion people (including over 225 million Americans) -- identify themselves as "Christians." Stats like that are very misleading because it sounds like all of those people belong to a single religion named "Christianity.” The fact is that there are a lot of separate and different religions that all go by that name.
World Christian Trends AD 30–AD 2200 shows that in 2000, globally there were 33,820 denominations. World Christianity consists of 6 major ecclesiastico-cultural blocs, divided into 300 major ecclesiastical traditions, composed of over 33,000 distinct denominations in 238 countries, these denominations themselves being composed of over 3,400,000 worship centers, churches or congregations.”1 In 1970 there were 18,630. It is estimated that are now around 40,000. One thing they all share in common is a central figure almost universally called “Jesus” today.
Many Christians have been taught and believe that “Jesus” is the founder of their church. The fact is no one by that name existed in the first century CE. How do we know this? The answer is simple because “Jesus” is an English word and the English language didn’t originate until the mid-5th century CE.2 However, when it originated it did not contain the letter “J.” The first use of the letter "J" was in 1524 and the first English-language book to make clear distinction of the letter "j” was published in 1634 – 23 years after 1611 King James Version of the Bible. Many scholars agree that “Yeshua” was the name of the person called “Jesus” in the New Testament. So why do we advocate calling him “Yeshua”? The answer is simple -- that was his name!
Yeshua formed a movement that was probably called the “Kingdom of Heaven Movement” because of his unique message about the Kingdom of Heaven. It set him apart from all of the other sects of Late Second Temple Judaism, which was Yeshua’s culture and religion. In order to accurately understand his words we must see them through his Jewish eyes and his culture. Members of his movement were never called “Christians.” The first people called “Christians” were members of Paul’s sect – “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”3 Paul didn’t form his sect until about a decade after the Roman armies crucified Yeshua. In 70 CE the Roman armies destroyed the Second Temple and ended Second Temple Judaism. It also severed members of Yeshua and Paul’s movements from Jerusalem, the center of their religions.
After the Second Temple was destroyed Christianity and Judaism took separate paths as they wrestled with their identities. It would take over a century for the roots of modern Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism to begin to sprout. Christianity increasingly became a Gentile religion and Rabbinic Judaism and new “templeless religion without a land.”
By the second century Yeshua original movement faded into obscurity and Paul's Christianity split into separate independent groups controlled by local bishops that reflected a variety of local cultural heritages. The Scriptures of Gentile Christianity became the Greek Septuagint around 140 the first attempts to create a “New Testament” began. The books found in modern New Testament would not be adopted until 367 CE.
Almost three centuries after the crucifixion of Yeshua, in 325 CE, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great became actively involved in the Roman church and the Roman Catholic Church emerged. It would dominate Christianity for the next 1,300 years until an excommunicated Roman Catholic priest Martin Luther created a completely new Christian religion called Protestantism – a religion of individualism. It is at this point that church splits and began to exponentially divide Protestant Christianity into new and competing denominations.
Around the time of Luther a new way of thinking appeared that challenged core church doctrines -- science. Science became the source of critical thinking and waves of new technological advances. In the 19th century Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution that created a major conflict from fundamentalism emerged and science and religion became polar-opposite realities. Christian leaders responded by appealing to divine authority-based truth claims and with claims and science answered with research based on sensory perceivable observations and facts.
Today, in the midst of the Information Age and hyper-connectivity, religious conflicts with the three monotheistic religion umbrellas – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – are driving many issues and acts of terror. This is possible because of the lack of transparency by religious organizations and masses of people uneducated in the histories of religions.
For those with Christian Biblical Heritages, Yeshua’s teachings have the power to make it relevant to all cultures today. The polarizing mutually exclusive Gentile theologies that produced the Gentile religions called Christianity not only conflict with the teachings of Yeshua – they are irrelevant today. We created the Real Yeshua Project to reconnect modern Christians and others with the ancient wisdom, morals, ethics and values taught by Yeshua.
Our goal is not to recreate Second Temple Judaism and Yeshua’s original sect. Why? That would impossible because there is neither a Temple nor the religion that was practiced there. Trying to repeat the past never works. When the Temple failed to function as intended by the writings of Moses, the prophets arose with a new revelation from God. When the First Temple was destroyed and brought an end to the Israelite religion, the Second Temple emerged with a new religion – Second Temple Judaism.
Today, we urge Christians to demand and practice transparency in their institutions of religions and come together to chart a new inclusive course for 21st century Christianity that meets the needs of people today. Our goals are to help 21st Americans view the life and teachings of Yeshua in light of his time period and culture. Then they will have the ability to make decisions relevant to the lives of Americans today. We invite you to join this exciting journey with us.
3 Acts 11:26